Bobcats Fall Short at Erskine, 3-1

DUE WEST, S.C. --- Lees-McRae senior Matt Harpenau and sophomore Brady Markle registered a dozen kills each while LMC took the first set, but fell in the final three, 25-18, 19-25, 19-25, 21-25, to Erskine at Belk Arena in Due West, S.C.

The Flying Fleet (12-5, 8-1 CC) held LMC to under the .100 mark in two sets while swinging at an impressive .367 in the third. The Bobcats (12-7, 4-4) dropped consecutive matches for the first time in a month despite dishing out six service aces.

LMC used a 12-4 run powered by two Markle (York, Pa.) aces to take a 15-7 lead in the opening set.

EC responded with a 10-6 run thanks to a quartet of Bobcat attack errors to shave the deficit to four, 21-17.

The Flying Fleet returned the favor with a trio of attack errors themselves while LMC claimed the first set.

The Bobcat defense impressed while holding EC to a .000 clip.

The second set was tightly-contested while a Sam Sheers (Centerville, Ohio) kill pulled LMC within two, 13-11.

EC created some breathing room with a 4-1 run capped off by an Andres Talavera kill.

The Flying Fleet's Juan Varona and Talavera delivered an ace and kill, respectively, to extend the lead to seven, 23-16.

Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio) pulled LMC within five with an ace and kill of his own, but the Bobcats were unable to complete the comeback while EC knotted it at one set each.

The Flying Fleet sprinted out to an 8-3 lead after a trio of players registered a kill, but LMC retaliated with a 6-1 run to tie it at nine.

The set was a see-saw battle until Michael Michelau connected on consecutive kills to give EC an 18-13 advantage.

The home squad kept the Bobcats at arm's length and claimed the set following a service error.

Both teams played efficiently in the third set while both swung over .340.

The final set was entertaining while it produced five ties and a Kevin Morrison kill (Norfolk, Va.) tied it, 16.

EC used a 9-5 run to end the set and match following a kill from Talavera and Michelau.

Michelau paced both teams with 13 kills while Corey Marks handed out 39 assists.

Efrain Negron (Caguas, Puerto Rico) led the Bobcats with 12 digs while Randy Ramirez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) dished out 29 assists. LMC racked up a 9.5 total team blocks.

The Bobcats return to action March 14 at 7 p.m. when they battle IPFW in nonconference action in Fort Wayne, Ind.

- LMC -